I was in the middle of a sentence some months ago, when someone pulled the plug on me, so its nice to be back in cyberspace with you. I’ve missed all my geekmail.
I’ll get straight back into it by saying that I don’t understand why Jarmo Sandelin’s manager is distributing videos of Mark O’Meara at last year’s Lancome Trophy. Could it be that, “Jarmo’s Greatest Hits” was a poor seller?
While no one, not even O’Meara would deny that a rule was broken, only an idiot would suggest that the infraction was deliberate, or that he gained any advantage from it. Everyone who plays the game has, at one time or another, marked their ball and returned some moments later to find that it no longer wants to sit right in front of the marker. Sometimes it will want to fall slightly forwards, sometimes it will lean back against the coin and occasionally it will topple slightly right or left. This was clearly not the case in the O’Meara incident, as he didn’t fiddle with the ball while replacing it. It is more likely that, when marking, he inadvertantly pushed the coin closer to the ball than he usually does. When he returned, I believe he replaced the ball his normal distance in front of the coin. It only takes a slight lapse in concentration to do this, and believe me, it is a mistake that anyone who has played the game for any length of time has made more than once.
People who mark the ball dubiously are quickly spotted on the PGA Tour and soon gain the reputation as a “fudger.” Mark O’Meara has no such reputation. On the contrary, he has earned the respect and admiration of his peers all over the world over the better part of the last two decades, for his sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct. His integrity has never been in question.
Perhaps his head was out of postion, when he replaced his ball, as was Sandelin’s manager’s head when he embarked on his vindictive mission. I can only assume that it was between his legs, in something of an embedded lie.